29/07/2015 8:18 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Brushing Twice Daily Is Not Enough For Your Child's Dental Health


If brushing twice daily were enough, all kids would have great teeth.

"Cavities? Even after brushing twice? Oh God! Why my child? I take all the care required for my child's oral health!" I hear exclamations to this effect from every second parent seeking dental treatment for their child.

The truth is, in addition to brushing twice a day, children need regular dental care from the age of 12 months. Dentists can remove plaque and food particles that cannot be eliminated with brushing alone, and they can also identify emerging problems that, if corrected early, can prevent the need for more invasive or expensive treatment later on.

The most common problem that we come across in practice are cavities which spread in milk teeth much faster than the permanent ones. Early detection can prevent problems such as pain, swelling and/or infection resulting in tooth extraction. New research has proven that early dental decay in children leads to more missed school days and lower academic performance. What you need is a well-established oral health care routine for your child with regular visits to the dentist.

The need of the hour is to introduce and establish preventive programmes and a healthy oral hygiene regimen at home. These include scaling, application of fluorides and sealants and identifying deleterious habits. Sealants are placed in the deep grooves of teeth on chewing surfaces, which are most vulnerable to decay. Fluoride application works by strengthening tooth structure, thus helping them resist acid attacks caused by bacteria. Another important facet of a robust preventive programme is the role played by specialists who can identify and correct harmful habits that cause dental problems.

Brush twice daily but also introduce a healthy oral hygiene regimen at home, by following these simple steps:

  • Limit your child's exposure to candies, ice-creams and other sugary edibles.
  • Refrain from kissing your child on the lips, which leads to transferring oral bacteria and infections to the child's month
  • Check your child's mouth on a regular basis to identify any cavities or other developments.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Take your child to the dentist regularly from the age of 12 months.

Take corrective action from today and protect your kids from dental diseases, giving them the gift of a healthy smile.

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